Case law >> Compulsory acquisition under Planning Act 2008

5th March 2015


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Ian Hutchinson

An appeal in FCC Environment (UK) v Secretary of state for energy and climate change [2015] has been dismissed.

The Court of Appeal said because alternatives had been considered for the purposes of the compulsory purchase there was no change in the development of a resource recovery facility, which had received consent, so no further assessment of its effects on the environment was required.

Covanta had applied for an order granting development consent under the Planning Act 2008. The application also sought compulsory acquisition powers. The panel of commissioners set out the reasons for its decision to make the Rookery South Order. Para 7.93 of the decision listed four points put to the panel by Covanta during the compulsory acquisition hearing.

The High Court dismissed the claimant’s claim for judicial review, which appealed on two grounds: the inadequacy of the panel’s reasoning and that the EIA was out of date. On the first point, the court accepted that the panel had not expressly agreed with the four bullet points in para 7.93, but said the judge’s conclusion that it had done so by necessary implication had been correct.

On the second, it said the order had not reserved any detailed matters that might have had environmental effects for further consideration and approval by parliament. The environmental statement in support of the order had been a comprehensive assessment of the development, said the court. Since the panel had reported on the order without amendment, there had been no change to the development, so no further assessment was necessary.


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